Romanian parliament votes to lift ex-minister's immunity

Romania's parliament has voted to lift the immunity of a former interior minister so he can be investigated on suspicion of abusing his position by allegedly overusing official motorcades.

Senators voted 102-30 Wednesday to lift the immunity of Sen. Gabriel Oprea. Anti-corruption prosecutors say Oprea used a motorcade 1,607 times from Jan. 2-Oct. 21, 2015, an average of five times a day and three times more than Romania's president used the privilege. Oprea denies wrongdoing.

Many Romanians think senior officials abuse their positions by overusing motorcades, which often block traffic in the busy capital.

There was public outrage when a policeman escorting Oprea died when his motorbike hit a pothole. Oprea resigned on Nov. 4 when the government collapsed following street protests over a deadly nightclub fire that killed 63.